BP Oil Spill Trial Postponed

Super Bowl and Mardi Gras impact court date.

The trial over liability for BP Plc’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was postponed to Feb. 25, so the lawyers won’t lose accommodations to Super Bowl and Mardi Gras crowds, a New Orleans judge told Bloomberg Online.

The Super Bowl is set for Feb. 3, and the last day of Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 12. Lawyers were told that due to the festivities, they would be “kicked out” of their hotel rooms, according to U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. Therefore, the trial, originally set for Jan. 14, is being delayed six weeks.

The April 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Hundreds of lawsuits followed against BP, the owner of the well, and its partners in the project.

While BP agreed in March to pay an estimated $7.8 billion to resolve most private plaintiffs’ claims for economic loss, property damage and injuries, the settlement— reached days before a scheduled trial on liability for the 2010 spill—didn’t cover federal government claims and those of the Gulf Coast states, Bloomberg Online reported.

The trial on liability for the 2010 spill is now set to begin on Feb. 25, the same day as a criminal trial against former BP engineer Kurt Mix, who was charge with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting text-message strings from his mobile phone.

Mix, who has pleaded not guilty, worked on internal BP efforts to estimate the amount of oil leaking from the Macondo well.

 

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